Harry Silver takes on his violent brother George’s life after a terrible tragedy.
There are some real touching moments, Nate's Bar Mitzvah in Africa was very emotional. The children were remarkably resilient and mature considering what they had to go through.
I loved the humour and there were some great interactions between characters. The developing relationship between Nate (the teen son) and Harry, who had a sweet sense of humour, giving Nate presents from the dog (a chewed-up dog toy.) Homes cleverly wove her knowledge of Richard Nixon (Harry is writing a book on him) throughout the story. All is not what it seems; good and evil cannot always be taken at face value. Harry can be an idiot but then he’ll do something that continues to make you root for him. It’s quite an art to make you care about someone who is flawed (possibly even a murderer?)
I read this on holiday over half-term - I had several late nights because I wanted to know how it would end. I was intrigued where the story would go with Harry and George’s violent childhood, and Harry’s lapses of memory. I was surprised that Harry didn’t get into more trouble with the law, yet I guess it’s more like reality, as you don’t always get punished for bad deeds. There is an ongoing sense of ‘moderate peril’ as they say in Hollywood.
At times, I found it a bit tawdry, and Harry's descent into meeting strangers on the internet for sex got a bit depressing. I felt I really had to suspend disbelief as he took on so much, despite having had a stroke. Harry was caring for so many waifs and strays in the end. And there was one avenue in particular that I felt could have been resolved - in a sequel soon, perhaps? But you come away strangely uplifted, despite the awful things that happen. I like the touches of humour and writing style of a.m.homes; I’ll definitely be reading more of her books.